Kids who learn science at an early age are more likely to develop crucial life skills. Science, after all, involves communication with others, determination to find answers, and finding solutions. No wonder so many of the world’s most successful individuals are scientists in their own right.
Parents who want to introduce science to their kids can start by giving them the best science books for kids. Many of these books contain simple and safe experiments that encourage their budding interest in science.
Six Kid-friendly Science Books that Parents and Children Will Love
Here are my top six picks for the best science books written for children, from toddlers to elementary pupils. Pick one or more from this list and let your child’s imagination soar.
Table of Contents
- Six Kid-friendly Science Books that Parents and Children Will Love
- Tips to Encourage Children to Learn More about Science
1. The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book
Tom Robinson, the author of The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book, is a high school science teacher who has led plenty of experiments with his students. He knows the experiments that will interest children aged 7 to 12 years old.
The experiments span several areas of science, from astronomy and physics to chemistry and biology. Children can then choose which ones suit their specific interests, whether it’s in biology on earth or the stars in the sky. Parents can also get in on the fun by providing guidance and giving answers regarding the experiments, usually when kids need clarification.
These experiments are both enjoyable and educational as there’s little to no pressure to memorize concepts. Instead, children learn science concepts through close observation of the process and its results. Even younger kids will learn about their environment in ways that they can truly understand.
Many of the experiments can also be set up by kids on their own without adult supervision. Most can also be conducted with household items and school supplies, so there’s no need to buy additional materials. Parental guidance may still be required in some of the experiments – the author states so explicitly – for safety reasons.
What’s Great About It: The experiments aren’t the usual ones found in most science textbooks. They are based on the questions that children with their fresh imaginations are likely to ask their parents. These include blowing up balloons without blowing into them, turning off magnets, and cleaning a swimming pool with just a person’s breath.
2. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space
The National Geographic book is among the things that we all grew up with, from the iconic magazines to the cable channel with their educational content. With the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space, the new generation will continue to love it.
This children’s book is aimed at children between 4 and 8 years old. It’s filled with pages upon pages of colorful photographs and drawings depicting outer space. These include the Earth and the solar system, as well as stars, comets and asteroid belts.
The high-resolution pictures are enough to attract children, especially with the planets’ vibrant colors. Parents may even be asked to explain the reason for these colors, which should be easy with the fun facts on each page. Most kids who can read will look at the fun facts and discuss them among their peers.
David Aguilar, the illustrator for the book, made drawings that were fun for kids yet weren’t caricatures. The fun facts complement the illustrations due to the simple text. Even preschoolers can understand the explanations for things in outer space and will be encouraged to find more information.
The chapters are well-organized so that children learn more things as they progress through the pages. For example, Chapter 1 introduces kids to the more familiar Earth, moon and sun trinity. Chapters 2 and 3 provide more information about the solar system including the planets, dwarf planets, and comets, while Chapter 4 includes concepts about galaxies, stars, and black holes.
Perhaps the most engaging chapter for kids is Chapter 5. Here, they will learn about space exploration, such as man traveling to the moon, the International Space Station, and spaceships. You never know –maybe the next astronauts will have their start with this book.
What’s Great About It: The pages are thick so even little hands can’t damage them too easily. Kids can also expand their knowledge via the interactive exercises in the book, encouraging them to engage with the content.
3. Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
Lego is a brand known for its kid-friendly toys that encourage young minds to transform their imagination into reality. With the Klutz Chain Reactions Craft Kit, children learn to design and build moving machines that challenge their own creativity.
The kit is suitable for children 8 years old and up, but even younger kids with an interest in building kits will love it too.
This kit is a NAPPA Silver Award Winner, which is a prestigious award for toymakers.
Each kit has everything that kids will need to build 10 moving machines with easy to advance rankings. The easy ones include the Quintopple, Dominoes, and Seesaw and Ramp; the medium modules include Pop-up Flag and Falling Hammer and Board Bouncer; the advanced kit includes Elevator Ramps.
Many of the kits may require parental guidance depending on the age and skill level of the kids playing with them. For example, the Dominoes module may be easy for a 10-year old, but an 8-year old may still need parental assistance for the first few steps.
Kids who like their independence will find the useful 80-page instructions for all 10 modules in building each set. The booklet also contains interesting information about troubleshooting issues and substituting bricks. There are even short but sweet explanations about why and how each machine works the way it does.
Children who have already played with Lego blocks will find this science kit familiar yet exciting because of the new skills needed. After mastering building an easy machine, the challenge of building a more advanced machine awaits them.
The 33 Lego pieces are strong and sturdy so these can be used for several projects. These are also made in bright colors that stay vibrant for several years with little to no fading.
What’s Great About It: The kit can be played with straight out of the box. Each package contains 33 Lego Elements, 6 Lego balls, 2.2 yards of string, 8 paper ramps, and a platform, among other things. The Lego machines will also fascinate children with their wide range of motions from swinging and rolling to lifting and dropping.
4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why
Toddlers and school-age children have many “why” questions that parents often can’t answer in a satisfactory way. This is especially true in the digital age where children have television and the Internet to turn to for answers.
The National Geographic’s First Big Book of Why contains many of the answers to the often wacky questions that kids ask their parents. Think of it as the almanac for toddlers and preschoolers with answers to questions like, “Why do crispy cookies come from soft dough?” “Why does the doctor look at my throat during check-ups?” and “Why do cars move?”
The interactive question-and-answer format also mimics the way that toddlers interact with adults when asking questions about their environment. Many parents even say that the questions are exactly what their children ask them.
Aside from the Q&A, there are also other activities that encourage children to ask more questions and explore their environments more. These include simple recipes for cooking, arts and crafts, and hands-on games that can be considered as simple experiments.
The kid-friendly explanations on each page are obviously the reason that parents appreciate this book. The information makes fun education for preschoolers easier, especially when there’s little time to Google the answers to their questions.
By combining colorful illustrations with factual and easy-to-understand information, the author succeeded in encouraging children to think big and ask bigger. My own children started asking questions that showed their increased understanding of the world around them.
What’s Great About It: The interactive way of teaching kids about science concepts has been proven to be the most effective way of encouraging interest in the subject. The thick pages filled with factual information and colorful illustrations are a bonus.
5. My First Human Body Book
Children love learning about their bodies. My First Human Body Book, a kid-friendly book written by Patricia J. Wynne, provides children with the basic answers to their questions about their own bodies – what, why and how things work.
Instead of just informative text, the book also doubles as an activity book for kids. As your children learn about the different systems and organs in their body, they also enjoy coloring the accompanying illustrations. There are 28 ready-to-color illustrations of the body’s skeletal, muscular and digestive systems, to name a few.
The head-to-foot survey of the human body also contains easy-to-understand information about each part’s specific function and their relationship to other organs. The information is suitable for kids between 6 and 10 years old. The questions include the uniqueness of DNA, the number of bones in the body, and the way the tongue detects flavors.
What’s Great About It: Each page can become the starting point for discussing physical anatomy, biology and physiology. The book also contains supplemental information not found in school textbooks.
6. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs
Children have always been fascinated by dinosaurs. The reasons include dinosaurs being near-mythical creatures of the distant past as well as their gigantic sizes, sharp teeth and claws, and their unique shapes.
The First Book of Dinosaurs provides answers to many of the questions children usually ask about these creatures. This book is aimed at children aged 4 to 8 years old, since studies have shown that it’s the age range when kids are most fascinated with this subject.
Franco Tempesta, the illustrator behind the highly acclaimed National Geographic Kids The Ultimate Dinopedia, also made the illustrations in this book. Every dinosaur is rendered in great detail and vibrant colors, as well as with eye-catching backgrounds. Each page also contains a vivid illustration of a different dinosaur along with engaging text about it.
Parents will not be left out of the loop. There are also tips for parents that can help them encourage their kids to learn more about dinosaurs and to apply their current knowledge in other areas.
What’s Great About It: Information about each dinosaur is provided on its corresponding page. This includes the dinosaur’s size, time period, and eating habits, as well as a brief description of its possible appearance. The large print encourages kids to learn the words too, while the interactive activities draw them into the dinosaur world even more.
Tips to Encourage Children to Learn More about Science
Learning science at a basic level opens up the minds of kids in many ways. Aside from stimulating their imagination, science also teaches them a healthy dose of criticism and skepticism, as well as improving their physical, mental and social skills.
But encouraging children to learn about science can be challenging. Here are a few tips that education experts say will encourage toddlers, preschoolers and older children to become more engaged in scientific studies.
Choose the right books for their age.
Children learn best when the teaching materials are written for their age, skill level, and reading comprehension. Parents must choose the right science books that correspond to these factors as well as to their specific interests.
Toddlers and preschoolers prefer books with clear, colorful and engaging photos and illustrations. Older children (6 years and up) like easy-to-read texts with attractive illustrations, interactive activities like crafts and recipes, and simple experiments.
Better yet, look at the age recommendations provided by the author and choose books using this criterion.
Maintain a balance between simple and complex.
Older children especially appreciate when science concepts are made more comprehensible to them, usually in everyday words and in a conversational tone. But the explanation for these concepts shouldn’t be dumbed down either, because children like the challenge too.
This is the main challenge for parents, authors and educators. But when adults respect the capacity for learning in children, the ability to maintain a balance between keeping science simple yet complex is within reach.
Most importantly, parents should admit when they don’t know something. But don’t get discouraged as it can also be a learning opportunity for both parents and children when they learn something by hitting the books.
I hope that with the science books for children I’ve included in my list, you will also be able to choose the best ones for your own children. I believe that it’s our job as parents to help each other out so that our kids will have the passion and drive for learning, whatever their interests may be.